Dior Vargas stops hugging his family dog during the walk. Dior is a mental health activist who lives with depression and anxiety. Dior founded People of Color and Mental Illlness. SCHAU ESSWARTS via Getty Images / verbatim
Depression rate has tripled In the United States, the latest estimates have been since the COVID-19 pandemic began. These numbers remain rising Compared to the pre-pandemic rate of mental health problems.
Even before the pandemic, depression The main causes of failure, Affect 17 million Americans each year.. In a society where mental health education is not taught uniformly at school, Most people with depression do not receive treatment, This is a disaster recipe.
Psychologists have suggested ways to reform mental health care Increased access to care through telemedicine. These actions are important. However, few experts have provided recommendations on how everyday citizens can flatten the curve of depression by reducing stigma.
To better understand why depression stigma persists, my colleague An3 vendor And John Rottenberg And i We investigated how depression is portrayed in the public sphere.In a recently published study, I coded systematically 327 YouTube videos about depression It is based on how they presented the cause, prognosis, and recommended treatments for depression.
We wanted to gain insight into how one channel of social media presents information about depression. I learned that a popular message on YouTube can unknowingly perpetuate stigma and misunderstandings about depression.
Stigma makes depression even more difficult
We are no longer in the era of mental hospitals and lobotomy, but the stigma for depression is alive and well.so 2018 study This provided 1,173 Americans with a vignette depicting a depressed person, with 30% rating it as “violent” and 20% supporting the use of involuntary treatment. In everyday life, many people with depression hear the declaration that “depression is not real” or “people with depression are just weak and lazy.” Public perceptions seem to exaggerate or downplay the severity of depression, but neither captures the truth.
Such stigma impairs the ability of people to deal with depression and seek help. For example 144 study reviews Stigma has found that people with depression are much less likely to seek treatment. This is especially worrisome for those who are suffering from the idea of suicide.Former U.S. Surgeon Deputy Admiral Jerome M. Adams Calls Stigma is the number one murderer in Japan..
YouTube Comments: Nature or Nurturing
We found that about 50% of the YouTube videos we watched show depression as a biological condition such as “brain disease” or “chemical imbalance.” Over 40% talked about how situations such as unemployment, abuse and other life events can cause depression. But these messages are only partially true.
Depression is most often the result of a combination of biological, environmental and psychological situations, but only 8% of the videos showed a message consistent with this understanding. This is called the biopsychosocial model, Consensus between clinical psychology and psychiatry as a whole.. Framing depression as either biological or contextual can narrow the scope of potential treatments, so it is important to convey accurate information about the illness.
For example, studies show that people tell people that depression is due to a chemical imbalance. More likely to prefer antidepressant treatments over other treatments.. In other words, these messages can lead people to mistakenly ignore other evidence-based treatments that may help them, such as treatment, exercise, lifestyle changes, and social support. ..
In reality, many treatments work for depression. However, it may take some time for people with depression to find the right treatment for them.
In addition, many believe that talking about biological origin reduces the stigma of depression, Study review In fact, it turned out to have the opposite effect. The story goes on: When people consider depression to be a brain disorder, they are less likely to blame someone for having depression. However, they are also more likely to consider people with depression as “different.”dangerous“And” incurable “.Studies show that these beliefs Weaken people’s motivation To support people with depression and to feel empathy.
According to YouTube: Depression lasts for years … sometimes lifelong
This message is partial truth, But science suggests a more complex situation. For some, depression can last for years, depending on their living environment and access to treatment. For others, depression may last for only a few months.A 2011 review of the Depression Study found that “the majority of individuals experiencing depression Will recover within a year.. “
This distinction is important because it reminds us that depression is not permanent. Depression, by its very nature, can feel desperate and unimproved, but when things improve, it inevitably gets worse again.
Reminding ourselves and each other that we can endure with time and direct efforts to improve mental health for all of us in times of uncertainty, isolation and concern for our loved ones. Is important.
According to YouTube: There is a quick fix
Some of the most irresponsible videos I’ve seen have suggested that some “simple lifestyle hacks” can “correct” depression. Such videos are reminiscent of overly promising self-help masters. Quick fix assertions such as “just exercising makes you feel better” are not only disabled, they are not true. I’m worried that these videos are disguised in scientific terms.
video “10 foods to eat to fight depressionShows how the general public can be misunderstood. The video has been viewed more than a million times and is fighting depression, saying “dark chocolate helps raise serotonin levels in the body.” Unfortunately for people with depression who love chocolate, this scientific claim is not accurate. Of course our diet affects our mood.. However, it is too simple to say that eating chocolate cures depression.
These messages can downplay people and nullify the severity of depression. Imagine how a depressed person feels when asked, “I know I can’t get out of bed, but have you tried Snickers?”
The next time you or someone you know feels depressed, take it seriously. The times are tough and the situation may seem hopeless, but depression is treatable and can be overcome.check out National Mental Illness Family Alliance For more information.
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This article will be republished from conversation, A non-profit news site aimed at sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Andrew Devendorf, University of South Florida..
Andrew Devendorf does not work, consult, own shares, or receive funding for companies or organizations that benefit from this article, and discloses alliances related to non-academic appointments. Is not …